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Is Japan becoming the new Hong Kong for Filipino Tourists?

It’s that time of the year again where thousands of Filipino families are preparing to travel ahead of the Holy week long weekend.

Around 5-10 years ago, the most sought after destination during the holidays would be Hong Kong. But over the past 3 years or Ray Ban Outlet so, the trend has drastically changed. Browsing though my Instagram and Facebook feed, I noticed the growing number of people going to Japan during Christmas, Holy Week, Summer, and even on long weekends, I think all of you would agree. Especially during March and April, almost everyone is posting about the famous cherry Cheap Jerseys From China blossoms in Japan, raving about the exotic Ramen and sushi food trips in Tokyo and Osaka, and enjoying Disneyland, Disney Sea, oakley sunglasses for men and Universal Studios Japan.

I distinctly remember around 7 years ago in 2009, when I was specifically exited to finally go to Japan for the very first time. At that time, Japan was considered by many as just a dream due to strict Visa requirements and tight border controls by the Japanese immigration. Flights then were also very expensive. I remembered riding Japan Airlines at that time, which would cost as much as a flight to Europe nowadays. Tours to Japan were also very expensive, making it inaccessible for most Filipinos to go to the Land of the Rising Sun.

As the Japanese Tourism Data points out in 2013, 68,720 Filipino tourists visited Japan. One year later the number doubled to 136,561 people. In 2015, over 200,000 Filipino tourists visited Japan making it one of the most visited countries by Filipino tourists. Observing the trends over the past few years, there’s actually a few reasons why Japan is slowly becoming the new “Hong Kong” of Filipino tourists.

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Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), Kyoto Japan

Increasing Number of NFL Jerseys Cheap Flights to Japan at lower fares

One of the most evident reasons why it is now more affordable than ever to travel to Japan is the increasing number of flights at low costs between Manila and Japan. Aside from Philippine Airlines offering flights to Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka, other low cost carriers such as Cebu Pacific and Jet Star have followed suit in offering low fares to these big cities in Japan. For instance, a piso fare from Cebu Pacific to Tokyo would cost around 3,000 pesos roundtrip. Jet Star also recently launched its flights from Manila direct to Tokyo and Osaka at affordable costs, making it very affordable for an average Filipino family to purchase tickets and fly to Japan.

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Osaka Castle Picture from Japan Kyoto Holidays

More lenient Japanese Visa Restrictions

Before when I applied for my very first Japan visa in 2009, I remembered how strict the Japanese immigration was in accepting and issuing visitor visa’s. At that time, it felt like I was applying for a Schengen or US Visa, where a strict background check of your financial capability and other documents were needed to secure a Japanese visa. Also, most visa’s were valid for single entries only. Meaning, if you would want to go to Japan a month later, you would need to apply for a visa again. But over the past years, the Japanese government has relaxed it’s visa restrictions by offering short term multiple entry visas to Filipino tourists. I recently inquired about a Japan tour and found out that only a birth certificate is required for a travel agency to apply a Japanese visa for you. More and more travel agencies offer Japan tours now since it’s becoming more and more easier for Filipinos to obtain a Japanese visa.

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Bamboo Path in Kyoto Photo from Kyoto Holidays

Growing Filipino Middle Class, Depreciating Yen, and Technology

The Rise of the Middle Class. More and more Filipinos have been more open to travelling the past few years. As the growth of the Philippine economy strengthens, the average Filipino disposable income increases, paving the way to more Filipinos travelling to Japan.

Depreciating Yen. The Japanese Yen has also fell over the past 5 years due to the monetary easing and falling interest rates in Japan. In a way, a depreciating Yen enables Filipinos to save on cost as spending in Japan becomes cheaper.

Technology. The advent of technology has also helped many Filipinos to no longer rely on tour companies for their trip to Japan. I planned a trip with my friends to Japan in 2013 and relied heavily on booking everything online and researching online for our whole trip. Similarly, Filipinos are doing the same booking museum and amusement park tickets online and even bullet train tickets within Japan as well. Given how extensive and accessible the Japanese custom jerseys trains are, it’s easier for Filipinos to actually make use of the world-class public transport Japan has to offer. Services such as Uber and Air Bnb have also made their way into Japan, making it a tourist’s paradise for Filipinos to plan their trip.

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Temples and Shrines are abundant in Japan.

 

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